Three years ago I would have told you we ate healthier than most American families. I never bought sugar cereal, my kids ate their veggies, I had them get apples with their Happy Meals and we only bought Cheetos on special occasions.
Two years ago (-ish) I went to hang out with a few local bloggers who I hadn’t met before at a new restaurant I had been wanting to try out. What I didn’t know is that it was a farm to table restaurant. Heck. I didn’t even know what that meant. And when they started talking about grass fed meat and cage free chickens and raw milk I was lost (and a little scared).
I had no idea what road I would head down pulling on the thread of what I learned. I started purging my house of all things with HFCS. Then came baking my own bread. Next getting all our eggs from a house next to my church with a cooler out front and chickens running about. Then visiting a few local farms to discuss purchasing grass fed cows and free range chickens.
More and more our diet changed. We stopped buying cereal (CEREAL!), started canning and freezing and joined a CSA. We get a small percentage of our food from a grocery store. I buy chickens with HEADS on them and save their bones to make broth. I make my own yogurt, granola, vanilla, and peanut butter. It all fits right in with my lack of shaving during the winter…..
It is the new normal and really feels normal. But I realize it isn’t. My kids frequently remind me that it isn’t. And I hope I haven’t become one of those preachy people. I just feel good, my family is way healthier than we have ever been and I like being able to pronounce the ingredients when we eat.
Today I listened to Joel Salatin speak on the connection between food and God and family. It was amazing. And here are a few of my favorite quotes:
We’re eating things you can’t pronounce, you can’t make in your kitchen, that won’t rot. If it won’t rot, it won’t digest.
Most people are far more concerned about the quality of the gasoline in their car than the food they put in their body.
Everything is eating and being eaten. And those who think we can have life without death have cheapened life.
Want to get started eating “clean”? It isn’t as intimidating as I may have made it sound. I started really small. Really, really small and things have just grown from there. I still don’t drink raw milk, ferment food or eat organ meat (all things true real foodies do). I still eat out at normal restaurants, buy candy bars in the grocery store line, and occasionally grab that bag of Cheetos. I live by the 80/20 rule.
Anyway, I have the greatest resource to get you started. My friend Tricia over at Once a Month Mom (seriously “real food” or not, you should be reading her) has launched a year long program to help you “Get Real”. She is working with some of the best bloggers around to take you through baby steps to eat clean in 2012. Give it a shot!
How “clean” do you eat?
This post will be linked up to We Are That Family’s Works For Me Wednesday.